Needs Help: Badass Longhair

Deadlock Clock: 18th May 2012 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [123]
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26 Martello29th Mar 2012 04:00:52 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
I agree that badasses in cultures where long hair is the norm don't count. Like the aforementioned Vikings. Although at one point I agreed Samson wouldn't count, on second thought he would. Long hair was actually not the default for the Hebrews back then, and it was certainly unusual that he didn't cut his. That was really part of the whole power thing with him.
"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
No and yes. No, what I mean to say and your interpretation of what I say are different things; in such a situation we would both be right. That is not differentiating between intention and result, again. Very frequently the intended meaning of a signal and the understood meaning are the same, but not always. Yes, I would be wrong to disagree with you about what your interpretation is, but not to say it's different than what I meant.

"That isn't what I said" ... "Yes it is, [quote], and here is what that means to me" is perfectly reasonable.

edited 29th Mar '12 6:14:03 PM by rodneyAnonymous

Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
[up][up] It was the norm for Nazirites. It is very similar to the situation with samurai, who typically wore their hair long in most eras. However, samurai hair would convey "is a samurai" which might seem sort of badass, although conventional. Meanwhile, Nazirite hair would convey "is a strict religionist", which might seem badass if you can carry it off.

More and more I'm thinking this is a visual trope, more about Wild Hair than gender norms. The long hair does, however, signify some apartness from society, whether a samurai's elite status or Sonja's unbound she-devil locks.
29 lebrel30th Mar 2012 11:37:39 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
What about, say, Liefeld/Nicieza-era Shatterstar? Top two covers. That doesn't look like Wild Hair to me.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
That's more Braids of Barbarism, yes.

edited 30th Mar '12 1:49:28 PM by pawsplay

31 lebrel30th Mar 2012 01:50:30 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Really? It's not a braid, and he's not a barbarian, as far as I know. I don't see the connection.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
The first one definitely has braids. The second is closer to Wild Hair. The connection is that he's supposed to look like a savage warrior of some kind.

edited 30th Mar '12 2:02:52 PM by pawsplay

33 lebrel30th Mar 2012 02:13:23 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Huh, I never noticed the little braids, I was always distracted by the three-foot-long swirly ponytail. They weren't always drawn as prominently than they are there, though. And in most of his appearances the short part of the hair is not nearly messy enough to count as Wild Hair; on those covers it's neatly waved in the first and just a bit tousled in the second. My hair is messier than that, and I wash it every day.

And the real question is, why does a three-foot-long swirly ponytail mean "savage warrior"? The length of the ponytail and the three-layer style in general would take a fair amount of maintenance, so the "ungroomed rebel" argument just doesn't work for him.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
It's not so much un-groomed as untamed which makes it similar to Wild Hair. Obviously, not all the examples are Wild Hair or this trope wouldn't even exist. However, I think this trope is a lot closer to Wild Hair than it is to the gender-transgressive tropes... unless you want to rewrite the whole trope around 1980s and 1990s rockstar masculinity and exclude all other historical and fantasy examples.
35 lebrel30th Mar 2012 02:33:39 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Well, the original YKTTW was written around mullets, ponytails, and '90s Anti-Heros. And that is an identifiable thing. But now it's "anyone who is badass and has long hair", which I'm less convinced is a thing. Perhaps we could change the description to identify the various ways in which long hair + badass is a thing?

  • Mullets and ponytails on '90s Anti-Heros - nonconformity?
  • Barbarians with flowing untamed locks - overlap with Wild Hair?
  • Wild Hair itself, fequently
  • Samurai didn't normally wear their hair loose, and most loose-long-haired samurai types you see in anime/manga are Longhaired Prettyboys, that would probably be a gender-contrast thing.
  • Long-haired elves are usually Elfeminate, that's also a gender-contrast thing.

Badasses who happened to have long hair in historical cultures in which long hair was the male norm is not a thing, examples of that should be removed.

edited 30th Mar '12 2:33:49 PM by lebrel

Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
36 Martello31st Mar 2012 12:27:35 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
[up]Most of those make sense.

I still want to keep this Always Male. We can have subtropes for female versions with Wild Hair or whatever. Maybe we should even split this into some of the categories lebrel listed. Like, have 90sAntiHeroHair, Long Haired Pretty Samurai, etc.

edited 31st Mar '12 12:27:52 PM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
What if Badass Longhair became a supertrope, and had as subtropes, for starters, "Lion Maned Badass" and "Amazon Rapunzel" plus Braids of Barbarism as a third option for groups of longhaired badasses? A fourth subtrope might be long haired samurai, when the long hair represents an elite warrior culture rather than a savage one. I don't know if the "Action Mullet" is distinct enough to split off from "Lion Maned Badass" but that could be a sub, sub trope.
38 Catalogue31st Mar 2012 09:03:59 PM from where the good times are
A pocketful of saudade.
I don't know if it warrants subtropes with full pages. Seems better to just categorise them internally.
The words above are to be read as if they are narrated by Morgan Freeman.
[up] That would work. Should we crowner making this Always Male with an indicative rename?

edited 31st Mar '12 11:59:25 PM by pawsplay

I see no reason to rename the trope. Instead of making it Always Male we should point out, that a connection between badass and the long hair is necessary. Female characters and bishonen would not count, because in this cases the long hair is used to make the character look good, not to make them look badass. If long hair is the norm in the setting then the character most likely wont fit. There are maybe some expections like the dothraki in A Song of Ice and Fire.
[up] Why don't female characters "count?" If this trope is stated to be Always Male, or is written that way by implication, then the title should make that clear. It is not acceptable to assumone that someone is male because they are a badass.
[up]It's not assuming that being a badass means being male. It's assuming being male and having long hair makes you badass (or highlights it, at any rate). To keep it Always Male would also be assuming that being female and having long hair doesn't make you badass. The converse is really more true: Being female and having short hair makes you badass.

edited 2nd Apr '12 3:18:41 AM by Feather7603

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Cure Candy
I don't think females count for this. Girls /= badass because of long hair or short hair.

I could see a trope of a girl cutting her hair or putting it up in a bun in a Lets Get Serious moment in a fight or a girl with long hair fighting and the work focusing on flowing hair in combat.... Anyway it's not this trope.

edited 2nd Apr '12 3:42:12 AM by Raso

I agree that women shouldn't be listed in this trope.

On a side note: Using hair style to indicate sex/gender is indeed a trope. It just happens to one that is so pervasive in daily life that we mistake it for chairs. I would say that Gender Coding Hair Style would be a trope worth having, but one that is virtually Omnipresent and therefore should go without examples.
Really, the only hairstyle I know of that has the same implications for both males and females is the buzz cut, which is typically military, spartan, or similarly themed. Except, naturally, when it's just a hairstyle. Otherwise, hairstyles have different implications depending on gender. A bob isn't the same for males and females. Long hair isn't. While there is overlap in some areas, it's generally different.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Most of the real badass female characters I can think of have long hair. Lady Death, Red Sonja, Wonder Woman, Barbara Gordon, Sarah Connor, Evelyn Salt, She-Ra, Beatrix Kiddo.

And short hair? Jubilee, Trinity, Halle Barry's Selina Kyle. I can't even think of many female Action Girl candidates with short hair.

Lady Shiva usually has chin-length hair. The lead in GI Jane has a buzz.

Overall, I suspect long hair is more likely to indicate a female badass.

And even if Badass Longhair is ultimately defined as Always Male, that still needs to be indicated in the title. Aside from being non-indicative, as there are female long-haired badasses, it's just respectful to half of humanity.

edited 4th Apr '12 11:42:42 AM by pawsplay

47 lebrel4th Apr 2012 11:46:04 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
[up] "Overall, I suspect long hair is more likely to indicate a female badass."

Compared to women who are not badass, are women who are badass more likely to have long hair? If no, then long hair is not an indicator of badassery for women. Is there a stereotype that women with long hair can't be badass? If no, it's not a trait that is surprising by contrast either. So if it's not one of those two things, then it's Women Have Long Hair plus Some Women Are Badass, which is a coincidence and not a trope.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
Cure Candy
[up][up] Not really I can think of tons and tons on both sides (more short haired than long haired as Tomboys are more likely to be an Action Girl and Boyish Short Hair.)

It means nothing or it means other tropes for a girl to have one or the other, there is no connection between badass and long hair for girls. For guys we have I Ded at least 3 distinct different types from

The only Long Haired trope I can think of connected to just long hair (no specific styles like Hime Cut) is Long Hair Is Feminine.

And some works use Short Hair Long Hair to distinguish Red Oni, Blue Oni and well Tomboy and Girly Girl

one short haired one long haired both equally badass.

edited 4th Apr '12 12:04:11 PM by Raso

[up] Tons of examples? Please share. The only example I can think of that clearly fits this pattern are the leads in Bound, a female couple in which the shorter-haired butch is indeed more badass.

[up][up] The more I think about it, the more short hair in females seems to be associated with youthfulness and cuteness than badossity. I can't think of any memetic badass females with short hair. I'm sure they exist, but they don't spring to mind.

edited 4th Apr '12 12:09:09 PM by pawsplay

50 lebrel4th Apr 2012 12:59:46 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Something that occurred to me while thinking about this: Almost all Action Girls are conventionally attractive, and use conventional markers of feminine attractiveness (long hair, curvy figures, low-cut tops, etc), to the point that butch mannish Action Girls are vanishingly rare, but we don't seem to have a trope that covers that (Vasquez Always Dies seems to be the closest thing). Is that tropeable?
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.

Page Action: Badass Longhair
19th May '12 7:32:05 AM
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